Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night

Starting September 21, the Museum of Modern Art in New York will feature the exhibition ‘Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night’.

Starry Night Exhibition

This exhibition will present new insight into Van Gogh’s depictions of night landscapes, interior scenes, and the effects of both gaslight and natural light on their surroundings. Representing all periods of the artist’s career, the exhibition will comprise over two dozen works of superlative quality—several of which have never been seen together, even though they were very clearly conceived with each other in mind.

The artwork was acquired by MoMA through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest.


Vincent van Gogh. The Starry Night. 1889.
Oil on canvas, 29 x 36 1/4″ (73.7 x 92.1 cm).

About Van Gogh

Throughout his career, Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890) attempted the paradoxical task of representing night by light. His procedure followed the trend set by the Impressionists of “translating” visual light effects with various color combinations, informs MoMA.

At the same time, this concern was grafted onto Van Gogh’s desire to interweave the visual and the metaphorical in order to produce fresh and deeply original works of art. These different artistic concerns found themselves powerfully bound together in Van Gogh’s nocturnal and twilight paintings and drawings.

About the Exhibition

This exhibition was organized by an international curating team, comprised of Joachim Pissarro, Adjunct Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art, and the Bershad Professor of Art History and Director of the Hunter College Galleries; and Sjraar van Heugten, Head of Collections, the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.

The MoMA exhibition will end January 5, 2009. Subsequently, it will be shown at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, from February 13 till June 7, 2009.

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